beneath gloomy hills
homeward i walk
in solitude

sometimes we play
on the way home from school
on Wincobank Hill
breaking into gangs
to throw stones at each other

off Newman Road
in the half-built houses
it’s hide and seek
up and down ladders
scaffold pole javelins

a happy time
for me a time of rapture
clear and loud

Paul Conneally

This poem is one of a series that arose out of the Derby iteration of our ‘walk to work‘ INVIGILATOR series of walks and actions. For INVIGILATOR : DERBY I was followed at a slight distance by artist photographer Kev Ryan who took this photo of me walking down Sheffield Place, a cul-de-sac, during the walk.

At the end of the walking, following the lefts, rights and straight aheads of Nikki Pugh’s daily walk to work through the streets of Birmingham but transposed to Derby, I find myself on a building site, which I invigilate like an art gallery attendant. As I do so I’m back as a child in Sheffield, free running in and through building sites with my friends, maybe I’m nine-years-old. In the thinking I conjure up Wordsworth, and he’s with us too, his words rattling around my head.

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